It can be tough to keep up on PC maintenance in our fast-paced business world, but a little effort here and there can go a long way toward preventing headaches down the road that are much more time consuming. PC cleanup schedules may vary throughout the year, but there are a few habits that are always good to stay current on.
There are three steps toward doing this: cleaning, archiving, and planning.
We can accumulate a lot of emails and files over the year that we didn’t want to delete at the time. This is a good opportunity to sit down and go through them. What ones are you unlikely to use that you could easily do without?
Go through your junk email, empty your trash, and remove unnecessary items from your Desktop, Downloads, and Temporary Internet Files. Depending on your web browsing habits, clearing the Temporary Internet Files or browser cache can sometimes free up a surprising amount of space and make your browser run better.
Doing a hard drive defrag can sort clustered files and help your system find things more quickly, as well. It can take awhile to complete a defrag, so it’s a good idea to pick a time you won’t need your PC awhile to initiate, then come back to it later.
Create folders for 2014, both on your PC itself and in your email. (If you have not done this before, take everything from 2013 and before and put it into a “Previous Years” folder.) You can then go through your documents and other folders to put files you won’t use regularly away so they can be easily found later. But they’ll be out of your way in your day-to-day, helping both you and your PC operate smoothly. Same goes for email. Go through old messages and either delete them or move them to the 2014 folder so your primary inbox is clean.
It’s also a good idea to run a complete system backup and archive a copy on a flash drive or external hard drive. Put this copy in a secure place such as a safe deposit box.
Your technology plan should include everything you’re doing now as well as any changes that you expect to make to your routine.
Do you want to get a new laptop, or maybe a tablet? Will that make your current technology redundant? Will making this change alter your maintenance schedule or change the process of how you handle and create data? Will you have data that needs to be transferred?
Knowing the answers to these things in advance will make the transition far smoother, keeping both your personal life and your business technology running efficiently and reliably.